Tag Archive: tourist

Islands ‘Defy’ Sea-Level Rise

Glittering IslandsIntroduction

This week will see some news that will be twisted and churned by the climate change sceptics…

Apparently, the coral islands are responding well to sea-level rises, which are real, make no mistake.

The New Scientist article is here and the BBC News item is here.

The Reality

Angaga Island Resort & Spa, MaldivesIn my previous post, The Maldives and Tuvalu will be Alright Without People, I pointed out just such a fact.  My reasoning was based on the not-so-recent research and conclusion of Charles Darwin into the creation and maintenance of coral islands, reefs, atolls and submerged sea mounts.

Now, recent measurements as described in the New Scientist prove this is so.

But there’s still no room for optimism because the reason that islands like Tuvala and The Maldives are suffering is because of human interference…  How so?

A. Because people keep using the coral for building materials, and smooth out it’s natural deposits into runways and hotels for tourists and the like!

This far beyond what the coral can naturally replenish by accretion from storms and it’s natural growth.

Ancient History

One other aspect comes into the “coral equation”.

Coral almost disappeared following a major extinction event!

we warned you......Dinosaurs and Coral

The KT event which wiped out the dinosaurs and left room for our own eventual evolution, also wiped out 90% of coral species.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/…Tertia…event#Marine

Quoting from this source,

Further analysis of the coral extinctions shows that approximately 98% of colonial species, ones that inhabit warm, shallow tropical waters, became extinct.

Prior to this, in the greatest known extinction event at the end of the Permian Era, far worse damage was done to corals.  See link.  Quoting from the article:

The event had a profound effect on the terrestrial ecosystem, which is still being felt today, a quarter of a billion years later….

Nothing resembling a coral reef shows up until 10 million years after the Permian extinction, and full recovery of marine life took about 100 million years…

Dishonour not the bones of those who trod this earth before us, lest one day they return...Now this is serious shit!  Because we are right now part of a mass extinction event, started by our own human activity, that will one day show up as such in the geological record.

Currently the coral can keep pace with increasing water temperatures and rising sea levels as it did at the end of the recent glacial period ~12k years ago.

But for how long?

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Tough Old Geordie

Strangely post on October 6th, 2009
Posted in Buddhism Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Gordon Moore's Bonk

Gordon Moore's Bonk

Like a metal mickey, old Geordie Gordon Moore (no, not him of Intel and his ‘law’) has astounded the medical profession with the recent discovery that a big hole in his head has grown back under the protective metal plate that was inserted to fill the gap.  (see the story here: Man grows new skull after horror car crash from the Newcastle Chronicle)

The thing that got me though, is that Gordon seems to be a bit of a disaster merchant, seeking thrills and escaping continuously….

  • He went to Iraq as a tourist when the war was still on!
  • He ran an offy, in Gateshead!
  • He ran a post office, in North Shields!

As if these aren’t dangerous enough, in his early life he crashed his car and got the metal plate in his head for his trouble.

A short while after, he crashed his car again and bent the metal plate in his head!!!

The question that’s bothering me and is the one you should be asking yourself is,

Would I get in a Car with Gordon Moore driving?

After all, he’s alright – but what about if you’re standing next to him?  I tell you, Ozzy Osbourne’s boy, Jack, has got nowt on this guy Gordon Moore.

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Terry Fuckwits on Lindisfarne Causeway

Northumberland

Northumberland is a lovely place – cold, sunny, windy, dry, overcast, damp, clear, clean and historic.  But mainly brrr  and wow!  Especially on the coast.

It’s quite popular with tourists.  Here’s why I go there…

[singlepic id=1024 w=320 h=240 float=center]

why do the fuckwits?

Sign at the start of the causeway

Sign at the start of the causeway

The historic island of Lindisfarne (Holy Island) is connected to the mainland via a tarmac causeway, which is passable for about 2/3 of the time.  The rest of the time, the twice daily tides whoosh in at varying speeds and depths, cover the causeway, and it’s a proper island!

Fuckwits

Now, in the continuing quest to be top in the Darwin awards, it’s become a mecca for fuckwits of all ages, sexes and nationalities. 

True equality.

"Invisible" warning signs!

"Invisible" warning signs!

The most recent were this pair of Glasgow fuckwits (see Couple rescued from rising tide), whose excuse for getting stuck was that “they didn’t see the signs”….  These signs are the only non-natural colours for miles! There are several, and they are big.  (also see the Seahouses Lifeboat call-out record, #018 on this page and Tidal tourists mystify islanders)

Close Up of Warning Sign

Close Up of Warning Sign

The man was supposed to have a medical condition –  was it eyesight related? What if they can’t see children playing in the road – or red lights!  Jeesh.  Get off the road mate and get a taxi in future if you can’t see to drive.

Terry Fuckwit History

Terry Fuckwitt

Terry Fuckwit is a Viz character (see here).  A fictional dolt.  But it’s not all fiction.  This is a list of recent rescues from the website of the Northumberland Gazette, the local paper.

Information

This is the Journal Live report on the daft Jocks.  The Journal Newspaper carries tide times and safe crossing times to Lindisfarne – it always has.

Tide Times are on the internet too!  This website is fast – http://www.holy-island.info/lindisfarnecastle/2009/ and should keep even the fuckwitiest nonce right.  You’d think?

But No…

Fuckwit-dom Continues

As if more proof were needed, here are a selection of YouTube videos detailing the fuckwit exploits or else examining the power of the sea as it rushes across the small gap.  Mostly, it appears to be a competition to see who can drive through the deepest water…?  One posted video, from BIRDY1572, displays the thickdom with their comment…

Holy isle causeway in northumberland if you are ever in area visit this unusual phenomenem.(sic)

Er.  Pardon me.  It’s not unusual. The tide comes in and goes out twice a day.  It always has….  QED.


Train on the Level Crossing at Beal Heading towards the causeway - © Copyright Gary Rogers

One other thing:  On the way down to Holy island from the A1, the road crosses the East Coast mainline via a level crossing.   QUESTION: Do these gambling fuckwits play the same game on the crossing?

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Pyroclastic Flow – Run Away!

Strangely post on March 19th, 2009
Posted in Environment Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Currently there is an undersea eruption happening at the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano in Tonga.  Check out the video above which was filmed by some tourist/fishing types in a little boat who went to look at it.

[singlepic id=336 w=320 h=240 float=right]   Then wait until about 0:45 as a white cloud starts boiling towards them and they shout,

RUN AWAY!

Painfully funny, I know, but compare it to the second video (below) of the Montserrat eruption.

The similarity is obvious, and for anyone who’s witnessed or knows about pyroclastic flows, “Run Away” is about it, although laughably inappropriate on a boat!

[singlepic id=335 w=320 h=240 float=left]It’s important to realise that this volcano is undersea.  I don’t know how far down, but for every 100m of depth, each square metre of the eruption has already managed to shift 100 tons of seawater even before it reaches the surface.  These are colossal pressures and forces.

Things like this happen in Europe too – such as Pompeii in 79AD, and these pictures taken by me of some pyroclastic sediments in an old quarry, now car park, above Volvic, France.  These successive events finished about 8000 years ago, I’m told.

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The Maldives and Tuvalu will be Alright Without People

A recent article on coral growth has confirmed my opinions that I’ve had for years that the assumptions about the environmental degradation and collapse of coral reefs have nothing to do with global warming, sea level rises or ice ages.

News Article: Coral springs back from tsunami – BBC News

Background from WCS.org:  Conservation Opportunity

Instead, the coral reef collapse is purely from direct human actions.

How can this be?  A: Simply, by observation and the principle of cause and effect.

Charles Darwin proposed many years ago a mechanism for the evolution of coral atolls and the large numbers of submerged seamounts.  My observations are that Darwin’s theory has been almost completely accepted in it’s entirety and that there is copious geological and other evidence for many variances in sea level over time.

The theory goes that the corals grow until they’re right at wave height.  Then the tops get chopped off in storms and piled up to make beaches.  That’s the steady-state.

If the land rises, the exposed corals die but new ones grow in the sea.  If the land falls, the corals grow towards the sunlight again.

But corals can only grow so fast.

If the land falls too fast, the corals are trapped in darkness and die.  There are hundreds of submerged tropical seamounts, topped with dead coral at depths of around 1000m, that prove this.  The same goes for steady-state.  If coral is left to grow, it naturally makes harbours, beaches and islands under the influence of staorms and tides.

What this means is that corals are actually very robust creatures.  They’ve existed this way for millions of years.

During these times the sea has gone up and down as well as the land.  There have been several ice ages.  There have been countless tsunamis as well.  The coral recovers, well, by definition;  it’s still there!!!

And this is what has been observed to happen in Indonesia.

The tsunami came in 2004, killed a lot of coral, but crucially, it killed a lot of fishermen as well and the whole tourist industry! And it’s really people that kill coral.  These last few years have a been a welcome breather for the coral as an escape from people.

They overfish, chip away at it, use it to build houses, concrete and ports.  Sell it as trinkets.  Build airports on it.  This is what’s happened in the Maldives. This BBC Country profile: The Maldives, makes it clear that following the 2004 tsunami, there has been a massive rebuilding!    It’s a red-herring that the hot water is responsible for coral’s demise.   Or starfish.  The world has been hotter in the coral’s past – and they’ve always had predators like the starfish.  Coral seeds itself in the water.  If it’s too hot for a certain species of coral, another will take it’s place.

Left alone, the Maldives and Tuvalu will still be there.  As the sea rises, and without human intervention, the coral should grow and be smashed to bits by storms, cast up to make new beaches.  But people, with their feet and their animals, their cars and houses, their aeroairplanes and boats, their work and their play, whittle slowly away at the coral when it should be growing!   When the big storm comes, the coral and thus the islands are more vulnerable.

In that respect, it’s a shame that the tsunami didn’t wash right over The Maldives.  Thousands more people would have died and the tourist industry would have completely collapsed.  As it was, a complete physical disaster for the islands was thwarted (i.e. it could have been much worse).

But the coral could have re-grown.  The Maldives wouldn’t dissappear like they are now assumed to do so…

As an allegorical story, the tsunami wiping away the fishermen and tourists of Banda Aceh etc to save the coral reefs would make a fantastic script.  But many years ago I read a real story much like this.

Buy on Amazon: The Curse of The Wise Woman, by Lord DunsanyIt’s set in the bogs of Ireland and was written by Lord Dunsany.  It is called “The Curse of the Wise Woman“, and is well worth a read as a Gaia-like warning to look after the world by letting the world look after us.  To work with nature, not against it.  That’s surely a good goal.

In this respect, the destructive fishermen of Indonesia are in no way different to those that wiped out the North Sea and Grand Banks fisheries of the last century.  High latitudes don’t grow coral though.  What we have done however, is made huge increases in atmospheric CO2.  We mine the crust on an industrial scale.  We have the ice sheets.  We have the warming. We have huge industries and complex civilisations.   What will Gaia do?

Read the Curse of the Wise Woman.

Daisaku Ikeda has said; “Life is a chain. All things are related. When any link is harmed, the other links are affected. We should think of the environment as our mother. There is no crime worse than harming one’s mother.”

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